Bolloré Bluecar in Paris
|Manufacturer||Vehicule Électriques Pininfarina Bolloré|
|Assembly||Bairo, Italy (Cecomp)|
|Body and chassis|
|Electric motor||50 kW (68 PS; 67 bhp) Electric|
|Battery||30 kWh lithium polymer (LMP) battery|
|Electric range||250 km (160 mi) in urban use
150 km (93 mi) on the highway
|Wheelbase||2,500 mm (98.4 in)|
|Length||3,300 mm (129.9 in)|
|Width||1,720 mm (67.7 in)|
|Height||1,610 mm (63.4 in)|
|Kerb weight||1,070 kg (2,359 lb)|
The Bolloré Bluecar is a small four-seat, three-door electric car supplied by Bolloré, designed by Pininfarina and manufactured by Cecomp in Bairo, Italy, under a join venture owned by Bolloré and Pininfarina called Vehicule Électriques Pininfarina Bolloré (VEPB). The car has a 30kWh lithium polymer (LMP) battery, coupled to a supercapacitor, that provides an electric range of 250 km (160 mi) in urban use, and a maximum speed of 130 km/h (81 mph).
Originally shown as the Pininfarina B0 concept car in 2008, the production version was launched in 2011 with the first 250 production version Bluecars deployed as part of the Autolib' carsharing program in Paris on December 5, 2011. In October 2012 the Bluecar first became available to retail customers through leasing, and sales began in February 2013 at a price of €19,000 plus a monthly fee of €80 for the batteries. As of May 2014[update], a total of 3,049 units have been registered in the country, of which, about 2,000 are in service for the Autolib' service. The Bolloré Bluecar was the top selling highway-capable electric car in France in 2012.
Bolloré Bluecar concept
The Bolloré Group, through its subsidiary BatScap, presented the Bluecar EV, a road-ready prototype, at the 2006 Geneva Auto Show. The company intended to showcase the potential of the company’s lithium-ion battery technology. The BlueCar uses a 30 kW electric motor powered by a 28 kWh lithium-ion battery pack positioned at the centre of the car under the seats and in front of the rear axle.
Pininfarina B0 concept
The car incorporates a lithium polymer (LMP) battery matched up with a supercapacitor developed by Bolloré's subsidiary Batscap in the original 2005 concept Bluecar. The energy storage component not only allows for high regenerative braking and acceleration capabilities but also extends the life of the battery. A range of 250 km and a top speed of 130 km/h have been announced for the vehicle, as well as 0–60 km/h acceleration time of 6.3 seconds.
Following the 2005 version of the Bluecar, the new Bluecar project was developed by the Pininfarina Design department, led by the Flemish designer Lowie Vermeersch, who had previously coordinated other projects such as the Pininfarina Sintesi and the Ferrari California. The car was dedicated to the memory of Andrea Pininfarina, who died two months before its unveiling and who was a firm believer in the project.
The main differences between the production Bluecar and the B0 concept car is in the detail design. The production version is launched as a three-door compared to the B0's five-door design. The photovoltaic roof was omitted and the front and rear lights and interior dashboard are simplified.
A total of 399 Bluecars were registered in France in 2011, 1,543 during 2012, and 658 in 2013. The Bolloré Bluecar was the top selling highway-capable electric car in the French market in 2012, and represented 27% of electric cars registered in the country during that year. Cumulative sales reached 3,049 units by the end of May 2014, with over 2,000 units deployed in the Autolib' carsharing program.
The Bluecar is a three-door hatchback all-electric car with four seats. Both the retail and Autolib' versions share the same drivetrain specification. The electric car has a 30 kWh lithium polymer (LMP) battery located under the passenger seats, coupled to a supercapacitor, that provides an electric range of 250 km (160 mi) in the city and 150 km (93 mi) on the highway. The maximum speed is 130 km/h (81 mph) and the battery weighs 300 kg (660 lb). The batteries are made in Bolloré owned facilities in two locations, one in Brittany, France and the other in Montreal, Canada.
The LMP batteries consist of a laminate of four ultra-thin materials: (1) metallic lithium foil anode that acts as both a lithium source and a current collector; (2) solid polymeric electrolyte created by dissolving a lithium salt in a solvating co-polymer (polyoxyethylene); (3) cathode composed of vanadium oxide, carbon, and polymer to form a plastic composite; and (4) aluminium foil current collector.
Markets and sales
The first Bluecar electric cars were delivered for the Autolib' carsharing program. Bolloré won the contract to deploy these electric cars together with 1,120 stations with parking and charging stations. A total of 66 Bluecars were deployed for the two-month trial period that began in October 2011, and service began on December 5, 2011 with 250 Bluecars available to the public, and rising to 1,000 cars by early March 2012, and about 2,000 units by September 2013.
By early 2013 the Bolloré Group announced plans to launch a similar carsharing service in Lyon and Bordeaux, but under a different brand name and with no cost to the cities. Bolloré's proposal is to fund the entire infrastructure, install and provide the vehicles, and cover the costs of maintenance and repairs. A formal agreement has not been signed as of March 2013[update]. Bolloré's goal is to start service in Bordeaux by September 2013 with 90 vehicles, 40 stations and 180 charging stations. After these two schemes are implemented, the company plans to launch similar systems abroad beginning with a city in Asia.
Leasing to individual and corporate customers began in October 2012 and is limited to the Île-de-France area. The Bluecar is available at a rate of €500 (US$648) per month, with a minimum contract for 3 months and a maximum of 20 months. The pricing includes insurance, charging in the Autolib' stations and parking. The retail version shares the same design and specification but has several differences with the vehicles deployed for Autolib, particularly its blue exterior color, unlike the Autolib' version's silver unpainted aluminum exterior.
In February 2013 Bolloré announced it was discontinuing the leasing program and began retail sales of the Bluecar starting at a price of €19,000 (US$24,850) before the value added tax and the €7,000 government bonus, plus a monthly fee of €80 (US$105) for the batteries. Bolloré also offers an optional package for the installation of a wall-box home charging station for €995 (US$1,300), and for an optional monthly fee of €15 (US$20), owners can have access to the Autolib' network of charging stations around Paris.
Atos and Bolloré Group launched the MyCar corporate carsharing pilot program in December 2012. The service is dedicated to Atos employees for their business travel needs at the company's headquarters in Bezons, France. Atos employees can book a car on the Atos intranet, pick it up and drive away. Besides promoting a more sustainable way to travel for business, Atos also expects that the MyCar service will reduce time spent booking travel and taxis, as well as the need for expense claims for business kilometers traveled, taxis and parking.
A fleet of 10 Atos branded Bolloré Bluecars were initially deployed, and photovoltaic panels covering 60m2 provide a power of 12 megawatts/hour to charge the vehicles at the Bezons site. In addition, during their trips users can also access the 3,500 Autolib' charging stations available in Paris and its surrounding area. The carsharing service is part of Atos "Zero carbon" initiative that aims to reduce by 50% Atos carbon footprint by 2015.
On October 14, 2013, a Bluecar burned down while parked and charging at a Autolib' carsharing kiosk in Paris and the fire then spread to a second Bluecar. A police investigation is looking into the cause of the fire. According to Bollóre, the real-time telemetric monitoring system did not register a thermal runaway problem with the battery of the car where the fire started. The company is attributing the origin of the fire to an external cause, probably vandalism. Bolloré reported that a total of 25 Bluecars in service for Autolib' have burnt during the previous 2 years, most of them certified as attributed to vandals.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bolloré Bluecar.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pininfarina B0.|
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